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what is a flipper tooth

According to research by a leading scientific organization, there are 120 million people in the U.S. missing at least one tooth. And, surprisingly, 17% of them really feel awkward about it. 

Decay, gum disease, injury, cancer, or general wear and tear can lead to tooth loss. And people look for an immediate solution to fix it. Among the various solutions available for toothlessness, a flipper tooth emerges as the optimal choice in urgent situations.

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The cost of flipper teeth can vary depending on various factors, such as the materials used, the complexity of the dental work, the geographical location, and the specific dental clinic or provider you choose. However, generally speaking, the cost of a flipper tooth ranges from $200 to $1,000.

In this blog, we will learn about flipper teeth and the expenses involved in having them. 

Illinois ranks first for dental health among all the states in the U.S.

What Is a Flipper Tooth?

A flipper tooth, widely known as a dental flipper, is a removable partial denture made up of acrylic. It has one or more prosthetic teeth connected to it, and it is designed to fit your palate or the roof of your mouth. When placed in your mouth, it creates the semblance of a complete and attractive smile. Moreover, you can opt for it as a temporary solution before permanent dental restoration.

Your dentist can easily provide you with a dental flipper. In addition, the process of having a dental flipper majorly goes through two steps. At first, the provider takes an impression of your mouth using a soft material. Then they design a customized flipper tooth made from dental grade that fits your mouth. 

Types of Flipper Tooth

Dental flippers are designed to cater to the specific needs of patients and are categorized as follows:

➡️Removable Dental Flipper or Retainer

In particular, this flipper includes a fake tooth retainer, seamlessly filling the spaces in your existing teeth.

➡️Essix Style Retainer

With a movable tray design, these retainers offer the flexibility to add material inside if a tooth is absent. Additionally, they can be adjusted to accommodate changes in dental structure.

Pros and Cons of Flipper Tooth


1. Typically, they are a budget-friendly alternative compared to other options for tooth replacement.

2. Being fabricated before the extraction, they can immediately be placed in your mouth.

3. Lastly, and most importantly, they are easy to use. You can take out, wear, clean, and replace them anytime.


1. If you chew on them a lot, they consequently start to weaken and get brittle.

2. Moreover, they are not suitable for prolonged use. 

3. Lastly, composed of acrylic, they may not be recommended for individuals with acrylate allergies.

Who is Suitable to Have a Flipper Teeth?

Flipper teeth serve as a temporary solution, particularly while awaiting a more permanent tooth replacement, such as dental implants or a fixed bridge. What's more, it is often used for front tooth replacement. However, for fear of potential discomfort and a tendency to fall back, by and large, its extended use is not recommended.

In certain situations, a flipper tooth could be the most fitting permanent prosthetic tooth choice for individuals with missing teeth. Especially if other alternatives like dental implants or a fixed bridge are not suitable for you. Although it can be the most affordable solution in the case of financial constraints.

Dental Flipper vs Partial Denture

FactorsDental FlippersPartial Dentures
PurposeTemporary tooth replacement for a single or a few missing teethPermanent or long-term solution for multiple missing teeth
MaterialTypically acrylic or plasticVarious materials including metal and acrylic
ComfortMay feel less secure due to its temporary natureGenerally more stable and comfortable due to a custom fit
DurabilityLess durable, more prone to wear and breakageMore durable, designed for longer-term use
AestheticsMay appear less naturalAppears to be natural-looking
SuitabilitySuitable for short-term needsSuitable for long-term needs 
Costs$300 and $500 for a front flipper tooth.$1,500 and $3,000 for a front flipper tooth.

Flipper Tooth Cost in Different States of the U.S.

StatesAverage Cost
New York$300 - $500
Arizona$200 - $400
California$300 - $500
Utah$300 - $500
Florida$450 - $1,000
Georgia$450 - $1,000
New Jersey$450 - $1,000
Missouri$400 - $600
Texas$300 - $500
Ohio$500 - $700
Oregon$300 - $400

Alternatives to Flipper Tooth

▶️Partial Denture

A partial denture is a removable dental appliance alternatively used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, specifically made of acrylic or metal. Also, it clasps onto existing natural teeth for support and stability. 

▶️Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device that spans the gap created by missing teeth. On the whole, it consists of one or more artificial teeth supported by crowns attached adjacent to natural teeth. These bridges not only provide a natural appearance but also stability for the gums and teeth.

▶️Dental Implant

Dental implants are permanent, surgically implanted artificial tooth roots made of titanium. In its design, an implant provides support for a crown, serving as the visible and functional substitute for a natural tooth. Moreover, they offer excellent stability, durability, and a natural look and feel.

▶️Removable Denture

Unlike fixed implants, removable dentures are sets of artificial teeth that can be taken out and put back in the mouth. Full dentures replace an entire set of teeth, whereas partial dentures replace only a few missing teeth. To demonstrate, dentures rely on the surrounding tissues and may use clasps or other attachments for support. 

▶️Temporary Crown

A temporary crown is a short-term solution used to cover and protect a prepared tooth while waiting for a permanent restoration (crown) to be crafted. It is mostly made of acrylic or stainless steel and serves as a placeholder during the restoration process.

▶️Maryland Bridge

A Maryland bridge is a dental bridge involving minimal alteration of adjacent teeth. Further, it uses metal or porcelain wings bonded to the back of adjacent teeth for support.

▶️Resin-Bonded Bridge

Similar to a Maryland bridge, a resin-bonded bridge is a minimally invasive option. Particularly, it is bonded to the back of adjacent teeth with a metal or ceramic framework, inevitably providing a conservative solution for replacing a missing tooth.

▶️Snap-On Smile

A Snap-On Smile is a removable dental appliance that fits over existing teeth to improve their appearance. Also, it is a non-invasive and reversible cosmetic option for those seeking a temporary solution.

▶️Acrylic Partial Denture

Lastly, an acrylic partial denture is a removable denture made of acrylic resin. It is commonly used as a temporary or interim solution for tooth replacement.

The Final Words

A flipper tooth is often the top choice for replacing a missing tooth. Although it can be pricey, there are ways to make it more affordable. Choosing a flexible payment plan is indeed one of the best ways to go. Also, with these plans, you can pay bit by bit, making it much easier on your wallet. Notably, many providers offer flexible payment plans through Denefits. And what’s more, by making use of it, they can customize the plan according to your budget. However, before getting a flipper tooth or any dental treatment, talk to your dentist about payment options.

FAQs on Flipper Tooth

How Long Does a Flipper Tooth Last?

A flipper tooth serves as a short-term fix for a missing tooth and is typically worn for approximately 6 months.

How Much Do Flipper Teeth Cost?

The cost of flipper teeth varies depending on factors such as materials, complexity, and geographic location, with costs typically ranging from $200 to $1,000.

Can You Eat with a Flipper In?

Yes, you can eat with a flipper tooth in your mouth. You should try to avoid hard or sticky foods because they could damage the flipper tooth or make it come loose.

Can You Use a Flipper Tooth Permanently?

If you're missing a tooth, your dentist might recommend dental implants or bridges. However, if you're not suitable for implants or bridges, you may opt to use a flipper tooth as a permanent solution. 

What is an alternative to a flipper tooth?

Instead of choosing a flipper tooth, there are other alternatives for replacing a missing tooth, such as:

  • Dentures
  • Dental bridge
  • Dental implants
  • Temporary crown
  • Maryland bridge
  • Raisin-bonded bridge
  • Snap-On smile

What Are the Disadvantages of Flipper Teeth?

  • Flipper teeth lack durability and may exhibit visible clasps or hooks.
  • They can sometimes look less natural, especially if they don't fit properly or if the color doesn't match precisely.
  • Biting into hard items might not be advisable, as it could cause discomfort or damage.
  • Food particles can accumulate underneath; hence, there will be a need for cleaning after eating.
  • Due to their removable nature, flipper teeth can be easily misplaced or lost. 


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